What Every Teen Who Has a Phone Needs To know: Cell Phone Safety and Etiquette

Whether they’ve had a phone for years, you “waited ‘til 8th,” or you’re still holding out for as long as you can — it’s inevitable. Most teens have phones. It’s funny how something so small carries such a big responsibility, and teenagers don’t automatically know the ins and outs of phone etiquette and safety the day they get one. In our tween and teen boys’ manners course, A Young Man’s Guide to Manners (launching next week!) we cover — in detail! — phone , texting and social media etiquette and safety. And we talk directly to the teens so they hear it from someone other than parents. 

We can’t wait for you to get access to this course so we thought we’d give a little preview of our phon tips and must-dos. Keep reading below and be sure to share with your tween or teen, as well as family and friends! 


  1. Add a password to access your phone for safety reasons, and don’t change password without your parents’ permission. 
  2. Your phone is yours — don’t let others play around on it, look at pictures, access your contacts, or use your social media. On that note, never take or scroll through a friend’s phone without their permission. 
  3. Don’t answer unknown numbers — if it’s someone you know who is trying to reach you, they’ll either leave a voicemail or text you. 
  4. Turn off your location services on apps (unless it’s Find My Friends for parents).
  5. Add parents’ information to your In Case of Emergency list, and if you have any life-threatening allergies be sure to add that information to your phone’s medical profile. 
  6. Don’t give your cell phone number to adults without your parents’ knowledge.


  1. Don’t constantly pick up or look at your phone when you’re with others — be considerate of who you’re with when you’re with them. Put your phone away when someone is talking to you. 
  2. Be considerate of those around you who don’t have a phone yet — and don’t make others feel bad if they don’t have one.
  3. Don’t take photos or videos of others without their permission.
  4. Don’t put your phone on the dinner or restaurant table as it’s unsanitary. Put phone in pocket, jacket or on seat next to you. 
  5. Make sure your phone is on silent during appropriate times (school, church, meetings, etc.). 
  6. Respond to phone calls and voice mails in a timely manner. 24 hours is a good rule of thumb — or set aside time at the end of the day to respond to anything you may have missed.
  7. When calling someone on the phone for the first time, or the first time in a long time, identify yourself when the person answers. “Hi, This is Kaitlyn Pierce.” Always use your last name. 
  8. Use proper grammar in phone conversations. If someone calls asking for you, the correct response is, “This is she,” not “This is her.”

Were these helpful? There are so many more things to discuss with teens and tweens when it comes to cell phones, texting, and social media etiquette and safety and we cover it in our newest e-course for teens: A Young Man’s Guide to Manners opening for limited time registration next week!

The sooner you can have these types of conversations with your teen, the better — for you and them!